Texas Hot Takes (Volume II)

DALLAS, Texas — The summer season has officially returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Looking at some of the standouts from this weekend, I gave a few opinions on the recruitment and performance of players who have stood out recently:

ZUBY IS THE BEST 2022 BIG IN TEXAS

After a dominant early July performance against Dallas Showtyme 16U (finishing with 25 points and 17 rebounds) and a stellar Houston camp performance in mid-July, I came away thinking Zuby Ejiofor was definitely a top ten player in Texas. After another great Dallas camp performance on Tuesday of last week and a triple-double outing vs. Basketball Means More 16U on Friday, I now not only believe he is the number one big in the state but also a potential five-star who is one of the top rising junior big men in the country.

 

A physical specimen at 6-foot-9 with broad shoulders, fluid movements, a good-looking shot release, and an endless motor, Zuby is versatile and powerful in the way he goes about his business offensively. Defensively, he is alert in help side and protects the rim with a sense of urgency. 

 

The product of Garland High School combines current production matched with his long-term upside as a dominant screen and roll big. Texas is the latest to prioritize Zuby and should be the next school to offer the potential five-star big man. 

 

 WALLACE SHOULD BE IN CONSIDERATION FOR HIS FIFTH STAR

As if quarantine was not difficult enough, it must be as hard not receiving the proper national recognition after an excellent sophomore season at Richardson High School. However, the disrespect in having Cason Wallace outside the top-forty on each national ranking list fueled him into performing in a way where he looks as if he should be in serious consideration for a fifth star.

 

Running with TAZ Elite this weekend, Wallace has controlled each game with his length and intensity on both ends. He is one of the best on and off-ball defenders in the class and has the work ethic and potential to be just as productive with his offensive game. 

 

After an imposing Friday night performance, the 6-foot-4 guard earned himself a scholarship offer from Arkansas. However, a school that needs to get themselves in the mix is Florida State. Wallace’s killer mentality, defensive intensity, and offensive upside as a scorer would fit perfectly within the Seminoles program. 

 

THIRDKILL IS A HIGH MAJOR TALENT

Dallas Showtyme wing Jason Thirdkill entered this summer as a reclassed athlete who did not hold a single offer from a Division I school. Fast forward to August, and now Thirdkill has emerged as a high major prospect showing continued improvement within each game he plays.

 

At 6-foot-7, he has the ideal high major size, athleticism, and length at either forward position and uses it to his advantage in the way he guards the ball, flourishes in transition, and spaces the floor with his developing outside shot. It will not be long before we see the home-schooled prospect crack the national rankings of the well-respected services.

 

His great summer has resulted in increased interest from in-state programs TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. Texas Southern and UT-Arlington have already offered. 

 

THE BIGGEST LOSER IN THE HARRISON INGRAM SWEEPSTAKES

Harrison Ingram is the only player mentioned in this article who has not played this weekend and for great reason. The five-star point forward took the last step in his recruitment and cut his list to a final six of Harvard, Howard, Michigan, North Carolina, Purdue, and Stanford.

 

Paying attention to the recruiting experts, many predicted Duke and Louisville to be in the mix. While Louisville likely would not have been Ingram’s choice, Duke would have been looked upon as the favorite for Ingram’s services if they would have done their homework earlier. 

 

With this being said, understand that both parties will be fine without each other. Duke will always be regarded as a top-three basketball university in the country and Ingram (whose game compares favorably to Luka Doncic and Draymond Green), will be successful on and off the court at any of the programs included in his final six.

 

However, I truly believe Duke fumbled the bag on a player who could have had the long-lasting impact Grant Hill, Kyle Singler, or Jahlil Okafor had on the program. Mainly because of his versatility in how he can run an offense and provide interior scoring with his back towards the basket while grabbing six plus rebounds a game. 

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